New Standard Synergies

Posted in How to Build on March 25, 2016

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

New sets always bring with them new synergies and combinations. It's one of the many reasons we look forward to the shiny new thing.

But this new set is special. This new set comes with a brand new rotation

This rotation, you see, is the first of the new two-set block rotation that's going to flip Standard on its head. So to give you a bit of a head start on brewing, brainstorming, and half-baked ideas for your Standard FNM, I polled R&D to get some of their favorite synergies from new Standard.

Just enough to get those brain juices flowing.

The only bad thing about Pia and Kiran Nalaar is that there just aren't enough artifacts to throw around. Or around to throw. Either way, Bygone Bishop is a good way to repeatedly get Clue tokens. Sure, you could draw cards with them—or, like any good Boros mage, you could blow things up, since the tokens are artifacts and are viable for Chandra's parents to use to deal damage.

Speakin g of Clues being artifacts...

Clue tokens also make excellent sources of artifacts for Ghirapur Æther Grid!

Pew pew!

But if you'd rather go big, look no further than Ulvenwald Hydra.

No muss, no fuss, just make your own giant, unblockable creature. Ulvenwald Hydra can search for any land, including this passage for Rogues. I'm not sure how a giant Hydra fits in there, but your opponent will be the one feeling the squeeze.


If big is your thing, but you want to invoke the past...

There aren't many hexproof creatures in Standard right now, so Conifer Strider ends up being your best shot. It hits for nine a turn, so all you'd need to do is keep the way clear. Maybe Conifer Striders fit in Rogue's Passages too?

Optional seasoning: Elusive Tormentor transformed into Insidious Mist is hexproof and indestructible, and can't be blocked. Seems like a pretty good target for enchantments or Equipment.

Right, Equipment!



Here's an all Shadows over Innistrad synergy that might cause opponents to feel trapped. When the Missionaries pick up a piece of Equipment, they transform into Lunarch Inquisitors and take a creature with them. That, in turn, triggers the Neglected Heirloom, which becomes Ashmouth Blade and turns the Inquisitors into a 7/7!

That’s one fancy knife.

That sounds pretty tough to beat, unless, of course, you simply deny their existence...

Do you hate creatures? Like, really hate creatures? But not enough to not play your own? Try denying the existence of creatures you catch on the way down, and then strangling them when they're already there! Any Processor works well with Deny Existence, but this one feels particularly mean.

Speaking of mean.

Sure, you could just use Gilt-Leaf Winnower to kill a creature then stick around to block for Jace, but why not bounce your own Winnower? Jace doesn't say you have to return an opponent's creature, so it might be useful to have a few of your own creatures you don't mind returning. Reflector Mage fits the bill as well, and it doesn't care about mismatched power and toughness.

But I saved my favorite for last.

Really, any combination of two of these four cards does wonders, but as I looked around, I just kept going deeper. The Gitrog Monster plus Molten Vortex was the one pitched to me, and that one sounds great, since you draw a card for every land you pitch to Molten Vortex. But going that direction could run you out of lands pretty quickly—unless you have a Groundskeeper taking care of things for you. Even just Groundskeeper and Molten Vortex lets you pay 1RG to deal 2 damage to anything. Alternatively, mix in Drownyard Temple, which comes back on its own, ready to either feed The Gitrog Monster or jump into play after being pitched to Molten Vortex.

“We can’t fit all of that on one card, Blake.” —Graphics Department

That last one might be my Friday Night Magic deck for week one, as much as I love Jace, Unraveler of Secrets. The Gitrog Monster must be fed.

What about you? What are your favorite synergies coming out of Shadows over Innistrad? What are you looking to play at your first Friday Night Magic after the format shifts? Feel free to tweet your sweet synergies to me @blakepr, and let's get the brewing started.

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